Exclusive: Sweetwater woman explains why she faked cancer

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SWEETWATER, Tenn. (WVLT) -- “I wish I could take it back.” That's what a Sweetwater woman told Local 8 News after admitting that she conned her community out of thousands of dollars.

Ashley Lively, 20, admitted to faking Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. The Monroe County Sheriff's Office said she raked in more than $8,000.

After a media frenzy, Lively's husband reached out to Local 8 News and said Ashley was ready to answer for what she did.

Heather Burian (Reporter): What was that bad that made you say, I have Stage 4 pancreatic cancer?
Ashley Lively: I've had these things going on in my head. And I tried to do something to myself nobody would ever try to do to theirself. I don't know why I came up with that, I just did. But I just -- like I said, that was my cry for help to my family.

Burian: I've spoken to some people and they're not very happy.
Lively: Yeah. There's been a lot of hurt, betrayal, anger. And they all have a right to be. I'm not saying they don't, cause they do. I've hurt a lot of people. A lot.

Burian : You had hundreds of people paying attention to you. Was that satisfying to you?
Lively : No. No it was not. It was awful. That is not -- my intention was not what it blew up to be.

Burian: What about the next person here who actually has Stage 4 cancer?
Lively: What we're going to try to do is, all the money that was donated is going to be donated to charities, and St. Jude, and people that actually need it... And I feel like myself, I need to donate my time to charities since I wasted everybody else's time.

There will be a money trail to prove she followed through on her word and made donations to charities, according to Lively.

Lively posted to Facebook about oral chemotherapy and feeling extremely sick, but she also posted about getting new rings and vacationing in the Smoky Mountains. When asked about it, Lively said most of it was paid for with the money from her husband's paycheck. But not all of it.

Lively said there was less than half of the money left. Monroe County investigators said she confessed to spending all but $2,000.

When probed, Lively said she is planning to look into loans or the possibility of finding a job and admitted it would be hard to find a job in the community.

Lively: I'm sorry. I feel, I feel like a terrible person. I wish I could have changed my actions. I wish I could change it all.
Burian: Because you got caught?
Lively: No. no because of all the people I hurt and lied to and everything like that. I never -- this is not what I wanted.

To fool people, Lively said she would Google the symptoms of pancreatic cancer. Plus her back pain and symptoms of her depression made her weak, so it was easy hard to fake sick in front of family and friends, according to Lively.

Lively said she does plan to get help, but she wants to first see how the investigation pans out. Her husband said Lively's depression started when they learned that they had infertility issues. It was a downward spiral since then.